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Detroit Red Wings Roster Analysis: Week of April 22nd

Rich Lam

The last week of the season is here and the Red Wings currently sit outside the playoffs. They earned one out of a possible four points last week after dropping Wednesday's game to Calgary and losing in a shootout to the Canucks on Saturday. Now the Wings will have four games in the next six days to try and earn enough points to keep the playoff streak alive.

With that, we're going to take a look at the roster from an individual standpoint on a good/bad/neutral perspective and see what kind of trends are working out. We'll be doing this on a week-by-week basis. Everybody will get a good/bad/neutral rating based on what they've done this past week and what we can expect from them for the coming week.

They'll also be ranked in order of strongest-to-weakest in their category.

The Forwards

People play on their off-wing at a decent-enough clip and still doesn't consider Zetterberg a centerman, but this is close enough.

Left Wing Center Right Wing
Henrik Zetterberg Pavel Datsyuk Justin Abdelkader
Valtteri Filppula Johan Franzen Daniel Cleary
Gustav Nyquist Joakim Andersson Damien Brunner
Drew Miller Cory Emmerton Jordin Tootoo

Patrick Eaves

Todd Bertuzzi (Back)
Darren Helm (Back)
Mikael Samuelsson (Booby Muscle)

Up arrow green The Good
  1. Cory Emmerton: Representing 1/3 of the Red Wings' scoring and all of their best penalty killing this week, Emmerton ruled this week.
  2. Gustav Nyquist: Gustav Nyquist is good. He skates aggressively, he uses the body, he's good with his stick. Still needs to find a bit more finish, but I like this kid.
  3. Joakim Andersson: He was my favorite Red Wings center this week. He made a great play to set up Nyquist for his goal and did very good penalty kill work to go along with even strength domination.
  4. Johan Franzen: His goal wasn't quite as impressive as Emmerton's, but Franzen was engaged and driving play well this week.
  5. Pavel Datsyuk: A strong game in Vancouver was nice, but this is a tentative good on one of Detroit's best players who failed to put up points.
  6. Damien Brunner: He shot the lights out this week and used his speed very well. Not great by any means, but good enough to climb out of neutral.

Down arrow red The Bad
  1. Valtteri Filppula: You know when people say "there's never an excuse to root for an injury"? Well, they're wrong, because I'm rooting that there's some hidden problem Flip is having which is causing him to be as bad as he's been for the team lately.
  2. Drew Miller: After suffering a broken hand on Saturday, he's done for the season.
    Pictogram voting neutral The Neutral
  1. Henrik Zetterberg: Not good enough for Hank, who brought it defensively, but didn't provide enough on the offensive end.
  2. Justin Abdelkader: Abby made space for his linemates and banged the body, but he took more than he gave as far as physical battles.
  3. Daniel Cleary: He had an assist on a very good play and then spent the rest of the week making me forget he exists.
  4. Jordin Tootoo/Patrick Eaves: Babcock can't really seem to tell them apart, so I'm not going to separate them. Fourth line right wing didn't have a bad week.
  5. Todd Bertuzzi, Darren Helm, and Mikael Samuelsson: Bert might actually return to the lineup on Monday. Samuelsson might actually return to the lineup over Babcock's dead body. Helm might actually return to the lineup in time for the 2027 Winter Classic #193 Old-Timer's Game.

The Defense

Just like with the forwards, there's a bit of room for flexibility on positioning. White has played both sides so far this year and Colaiacovo hasn't played a game on the left yet. In general, the Wings' system sets the left defender as the "mobile" guy while the right-side defender is the "stay at home" guy.

Left Defense Right Defense
Niklas Kronwall Jonathan Ericsson
Brendan Smith Carlo Colaiacovo
Jakub Kindl Danny DeKeyser
Ian White Kyle Quincey

Brian Lashoff


Up arrow green The Good
  1. Danny DeKeyser: He's getting easier minutes, but I don't care. I've got reason to like having Detroit's third pair on the ice.
  2. Jakub Kindl: He had a misplay on Calgary's first goal against on Wednesday, but he played solid hockey overall and helped create the Emmerton goal against Vancouver
  3. Niklas Kronwall: Big minutes for Kronner and defensively solid play. He's doing the right kind of things to make points happen, but they're not coming.
  4. Jonathan Ericsson: Against top-level competition, Ericsson looked composed and has done a lot more leading the rush through the neutral zone of late.
  5. Kyle Quincey: Maybe I'm just punch-drunk (or actual drunk, who knows?), but Quincey had a good enough game against Vancouver to squeak in here.

Down arrow red The Bad
  1. Brendan Smith: He got a point on a bullshit goal, but otherwise looked mostly lost and ineffective, putting just one shot on goal during the only shift I wasn't secretly wishing he was somebody else.
  2. Carlo Colaiacovo: Eh, I already had a 2 here in this category and didn't want Smith to feel lonely.

Pictogram voting neutral The Neutral
  1. Brian Lashoff: Making him a minus because he got called up instead of Tatar would be silly, right?
  2. Ian White: Two weeks of silence out of White and I'm starting to think I'd actually give him a game at this point to see if he can drive some offense.

The Goalies

Up arrow green The Good
  1. My mother: She's a saint.
Down arrow red The Bad
  1. Jimmy Howard: When half of your games this week were the Calgary game, you're going to have a bad rating.
  2. Jonas Gustavsson: He didn't play and that's telling, all things considered. (I don't have to change this. whee!)
Pictogram voting neutral The Neutral.
  1. Kevin Weekes: You know, he's a pretty friendly guy and whatnot, but that whole "I have no 5 hole" thing is goofy. Kevin Weekes gave up a lot of goals in his career. I'm pretty sure some slid under his ballsack.



As a bit of a bonus, here are the lifetime career stats of the Red Wings against the four teams the Wings will play in the next seven days.